Explore and analyse experiences, motivations and ambitions of Romanian Roma immigrating to Western Europe

MigRom, ‘The immigration of Romanian Roma to Western Europe: Causes, Effects, and Future Engagement Strategies’, is a multiannual study (2013-2017) coordinated by the University of Manchester, which is taking place in Italy, Spain, the United Kingdom, Romania and France. The study’s objective is to conduct surveys of the experiences of Roma people who have migrated from Romania all over western Europe, and what motivates them. The survey in France, led by Henriette Asséo, was carried out in various locations, including three Roma slums in the Paris region. In 2015, the ethnography stage of the MigRom project ended and the data processing stage began. Several works about the research have already been published. The 2015 seminar on ‘Transnational approaches to Roma (Gipsy) societies’ focused on studying sources and procedures for a multidisciplinary study of the Roma (Gipsy) people.

The MigRom project aims to explore and analyse the experiences, motivation and ambitions of Romanian Roma people who migrate to western Europe. The four-year project is coordinated by the University of Manchester, the other partners being the universities of Verona and Granada and the Romanian Centre for National Minorities in Cluj-Napoca. The core part of the project is an ethnographical study of Roma families living in western Europe, aimed at understanding the causes and effects of their movements within Europe. Alongside this familial anthropology, we also need to understand the social and historical contexts in which this migration is taking place and to do this, we have developed a digital technology arm which is conducting two initiatives.

The first aims to demonstrate the influence that various classifications inherited from the past have had on the development of contemporary public policy, by analysing the legal and administrative classifications of ‘gipsy’ or ‘traveller’ populations created from the late 19th Century onwards. A study of the gypsology networks from the late 19th Century through to the first half of the 20th Century offers a previously untapped source of information about these issues and we have therefore begun the work of digitizing and cataloguing various collections and presenting the information obtained from items such as circulars and correspondence in a logical order by geographical location. We are also working on visual representations of the data.

The second initiative consists in establishing a controversy analysis system that will provide a picture of the ways in which ‘Roma issues’ emerged and spread during the 2014 municipal and European elections. The aim is to understand the ways in which political debate circulates on the internet, by mapping political websites.



This seminar continues the research into Roma/Gypsy societies. This year’s seminar aims to make use of the findings of recent research on the subject and look in detail at the methodological issues surrounding a subject in which interdisciplinary approaches have been passively accepted in the past, rather than being actively developed. Over the last 30 years, increasing numbers of monographs have been produced on the Roma/Gypsies, paving the way for renewed approaches to these societies in various disciplines. Starting out with new research topics, the parties involved will attempt to put interdisciplinary work into practice by looking at separate but complementary approaches side-by-side through a comparison of historical, anthropological, sociological and geographical studies.


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08 December 2016